Weeding is a major problem for ecological growers since it is both expensive and time-consuming. New robot technology may have the solution. In a new dissertation, Björn Åstrand, from Halmstad University in Sweden, presents how weeds can be removed mechanically -with the fully automated robot Lukas.
In ecological cultivation, weeding is performed manually, entailing not only economic burdens for many growers but also logistic ones -it’s hard to find people willing to do this work, and many growers therefore have to limit their production.
“For an ecological grower of beets, weeding can cost about SEK 10,000 per hectare. With robot technology we estimate that these costs can be cut in half. In the long term this technology would also mean major environmental benefits by ultimately replacing chemical herbicides in traditional cultivation,” says Björn Åstrand, who works at the School of Information Science, Computer and Electrical Engineering at Halmstad University. He is formally a doctoral candidate at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg.
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